Traditional Ottoman design inspires winning competition entry for Koç Contemporary
A Grimshaw-led team including Thornton Thomasetti, Max Fordham, Neill Woodger Acoustics and Jason Bruges has won a competition to design a significant new museum in Istanbul. The Koç Contemporary, a contemporary art museum headed by the Vehbi Koç Foundation, is due to open in 2016 with a splendid array of modern art for the enjoyment of local people and tourists to Istanbul.
Boundaries between inside and outside space have been left blurred by the team who wish to encourage passers-by to enter the facility. The Koç Contemporary is destined for a prime site in Beyoglu, a thriving area which is rapidly being updated with new clubs, commercial outlets and cultural venues.
Grimshaw’s design draws on this buzzing redevelopment and the uprising of cultural institutions in the area as well as traditional local architecture for a bold and vibrant aesthetic. This is not only a destination for visitors to enjoy the work on display but a venue for study, conservation and preservation. Once completed, the Koç Contemporary will house paintings, video, media installations and performance art.
Speaking of the project win, Kirsten Lees, Partner in Charge of the design, commented: “Koç Contemporary is a hugely exciting and ambitious project that will have a significant impact not only on the role of contemporary art in Istanbul, to educate and exchange ideas, but on the regeneration of a rich and diverse area of the city.
“The inter-relationship between architecture, place and the collections informed our proposals to enrich the visitor experience. The brief provided a remarkable opportunity for integrating a wide range of activities, events and disciplines in a single complex. We are honoured to be a part of designing such a vital cultural landmark.”